Faculty Profile Transformative Justice in Education Center (TJE) EMPHASIS AREA: LLC.

Lawrence (Torry) Winn

Associate Professor of Teaching in Education, Chair of Undergraduate Programs, Executive Director of Transformative Justice in Education (TJE) Center

Portrait of Torry Winn

Dr. Lawrence Torry Winn brings over twenty-five years of diverse professional experience, collaborating and consulting with a range of organizations including foundations, cities, schools, colleges/universities, and non-profits. Notable partners include Casey Family Programs, Annie E. Casey, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, City of Newark (NJ), City of Madison (WI), St. HOPE, University of California, Berkeley, Sierra Health Foundation, MLK Sr. Community Resources Collaborative, and Race to Equity. As a trained ethnographer, Dr. Winn’s projects explore the nuanced connections between historically marginalized communities of color and various entities, including schools, non-profits, and government organizations. His research examines race, justice, critical consciousness, foresight, and how Black youth acquire social capital in out-of-school learning spaces. He is the co-author of the Race to Equity Report, a three-year comprehensive study examining racial disparities in Dane County, WI. 

Before relocating to Madison, he served as the Founding Executive Director of the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resources Collaborative (Atlanta, GA), the Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships for St. HOPE Academy (California and New York), and the Executive Director of Uth Turn (Newark, New Jersey).

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Winn holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, a Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Human Ecology and Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Research Interests

My research focuses how youth of color read, de-code, examine, and resist racial inequities and opportunity gaps in their schools and communities. My research explores the role that social, community, cultural, and resistance capital plays in the lives of youth and their families and how these factors influences the their experiences in education, participation in civic engagement and limits their access to opportunities or social mobility. 


Ph.D. in Human Ecology, Civil Society and Community Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, May 2017

Master of Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, May 2007

Juris Doctor of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tennessee, May 2004

Bachelor of Arts in English, University of California, Berkeley, California, May 1999

Professional Experience

Associate Professor of Teaching, School of Education, University of California, Davis, 2022-Present.

Assistant Professor of Teaching, School of Education, University of California, Davis, 2019-2022.

Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Transformative Justice in Education Center, School of Education, University of California, Davis, 2016-Present.

Founding Executive Director, The Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resources Collaborative, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2012- June 2013

Director of Development, Emory Law School and Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, August 2010-January 2012

Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development, St. HOPE Academy, Sacramento, California and New York, New York,July 2007- July 2010

Executive Director, Uth Turn, Newark, New Jersey, February 2006- May 2007

Program Manager, Uth Turn, Newark, New Jersey, August 2005- February 2006

St. HOPE Fellows, St. HOPE Academy, Sacramento, California, August 1999- August 2001


Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

Winn, L. T. (2022). Wakanda Forever: The (Virtual) Reality of Teaching in Color. Journal of Futures Studies, 26 (3).

Souto-Manning, M. & Winn, L.T. (2019). Toward Shared Commitments for Teacher Education: Committing to Transformative Justice as an Ethical Imperative. Theory Into Practice.

Winn, M. T., & Winn, L. T. (2019). This issue. Theory Into Practice58(4), 305–307.

Christens, B.D., Winn, L.T. & Duke, A. M. (2015). Empowerment and Critical

Consciousness: A Conceptual Cross-Fertilization.  Adolescent Research Review.

Winn, L. T. & Winn, M. T. (2015).  Expectations and realities: Education, the discipline gap, and the experiences of Black families migrating to small cities.  Race and Social Problems Special Issue on Education


Winn, L.T., Watson, V., Winn, M.T., Montgomery-Block, K. (2023). Faith Made Flesh: Transformative Justice and Healthy Futures. Cornell University.

Winn, M. T., & Winn, L. T. (Eds.) (2021). Restorative justice in education: Transforming teaching and learning through the disciplines. Harvard Education Press.

Book Chapters (peer-reviewed)

Winn, L.T. & Winn, M. T. (2015). “There’s nothing for us here”: Black families navigating the school/prison nexus 60 years after Brown.  (p. 245-266). In P. Noguera, J. Pierce & R. Ahram’s (Eds.).  The unfulfilled promise of racial equality in education: Current realities and future prospects.  New York: Springer.

Winn, L.T. & Winn, M. T. (Forthcoming).  “We want this to be owned by you:” The promise and perils of Youth Participatory Action Research. In S. Greene’s (Eds.).Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement. New York and London: Routledge.

Research Reports

Koon, D. S.-V., Chong, S., Frampton, M. L., Winn, L.T., Jordan, C., Haro, B. N., Prim, J., Huddlestun, D., Pham, H., & Harris, J. (2021). Beyond Suspension Decline: Transforming School Discipline in California. The California School Discipline Project, 1 – 112.

Koon, D. S.-V., Frampton, M. L., Chong, S., Perlstein, D., Winn, L.T, Faw, L., Pulido, L., Prim, J., & Musser, A. (2021). Suspension Decline in California’s Heartland: A Central Valley Story. The California School Discipline Project, 1- 48.

Winn, L.T., Watson, V., & Winn, M.T., (2020). Transformative Justice Community: A Countywide Evaluation of the Black Child Legacy Campaign. Prepared for Sacramento’s Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Death, Sacramento, CA.

Nelson, E., & Winn, L.T., (2013). Race to Equity: A Baseline Report on the state of racial disparities in Dane County.  Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Madison, WI. (Funded by Annie E. Casey Foundation)

Policy & Practitioner Brief

Winn, L.T, Koon, D. S.-V., & Jordan, C. (2021). Beyond Suspension Decline: Towards a Transformative Model of Restorative Justice. The California School Discipline Project.

Honors and Awards

UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (2022)

UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award (2021)

Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community (2018-19)

Summertime Academic Research (STAR) Award, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Received $3,000 for project entitled “The Possibilities of Youth Re-Acting to Research.” April 2014.

Meta Schroeder Beckner Endowment Grant, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Received $14,200 for project entitled “Connecting Families, Schools, and Community Organizations. February 2014.

Papers Presented

Conference Presentations (peer reviewed)

Winn, L. T. (2016).  Black Youth Re-Searching and Re-Acting to Racial Disparities.  A paper to be presented at the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology. 

Winn, L.T. & Winn, M. T. (2015, February).  Reading race and the new Black migration.  A paper presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Assemble for Research.  New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Conference Presentations (Invited)

Winn, L. T.,  & Winn, M. T., 2014. Expectations and realities: Education, the discipline gap, and the experiences of Black families migrating to small cities.  A paper presented at New York University’s Brown: 60 and Beyond Conference. New York, NY.

Institutional Presentations (Invited)

Winn, L.T., & Nelson, E. (2015). Reframing the Discourse on Racial and Economic Disparities in Student Achievement. The Annual Educational Policy Studies Conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Winn, L.T.  (2015). Cities and Youth Using Research and Data to Implement Change. Cities United Annual Conference.  Philadelphia, PA.

Winn, L. T., (2014). Social Capital: Organizing Residents for Community Change. Edgewood College. Madison, WI.

Winn, L,T. (2014). The Role of Philanthropic Foundations in Faith-Based Initiatives. Grant makers for Children, Youth, and Families Annual Conference. Detroit, MI.

Winn, L.T.  (2014). Opportunities, Gaps, and Disparities and the Role of the University.  UW-Madison’s Racial Disparities and Opportunities Gap Committee. University of Wisconsin, Madison. Madison, WI.

Winn, L.T. & Nelson, E. (2014). Race to Equity: A Baseline Report on the State of Racial Disparities in Dane County. University of Wisconsin, Madison Department of Family Medicine. Madison, WI.

Winn, L. T.& Nelson, E. (2013). Race to Equity: A Baseline Report on the State of Racial Disparities in Dane County.  Race to Equity and the YWCA Racial Justice Summit. Madison, WI.

Winn, L. T. & Nelson, E. (2013).  Educational Disparities: Juvenile-In-Justice. Co-presented with Richard Ross. University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Education. Madison, WI.

Winn, L.T. & Nelson, E. (2013). Race to Equity: A Baseline Report on the State of Racial Disparities in Dane County. City of Madison’s Neighborhood Resource Teams. Madison, WI.

Winn, L.T. & Nelson, E. (2013). Racial Disparities Findings in Dance County.  Annie E. Casey Foundation. Baltimore, MD.

Winn, L. T. (2012). Race, Education, and Dr. King’s Dream. The 14th Annual MLK Celebration.  Middlebury College. Middlebury, VT.

Winn, L, T. (2011). Academic Achievement and Higher Education. Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA.

Winn, L. T. (2010). The Sports Philanthropy Playbook: Strategic Giving for Community Change. The Council on Foundations Conference. Denver, CO.

Public Service

University of Wisconsin Morgridge Center for Public Service Campus Advisory Board (2015-Present).

Board Member of Forward Community Investments, Madison, WI (2015-Present).

Opportunity Gaps and Racial Disparity Committee (Commissioned by Chancellor Rebecca Blank), University of Wisconsin, Madison (2014-Present).

University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine Advisory Committee (2014-Present).

City of Madison City Youth Internship Program Review Committee (2014).

Board Member of The Foundation for Madison Public Schools, Madison, WI (2013-2014).

Boys and Girls Club of America Task Force member for the national high school dropout crisis, Atlanta, GA, (2009).


Consultant, Casey Family Programs Fellow, City of Madison, Madison, WI, June 2015- 2019.

Consultant- Director of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement,The Race to Equity Project (funded by Annie E. Casey Foundation), Madison, WI, October 2012- 2016.

Verona School District, Verona, Wisconsin (2013-2014).

Race to Equity, Madison, Wisconsin (2012-present).

Center for Nu Leadership Urban Solutions, New York, New York (2011).

St. HOPE Leadership Academy, New York, New York, (2010).

Professional Development

American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL (2015).

American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA (2013).

American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC (2012).

American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA (2011).

Sierra Health Foundation Leadership Program, Sacramento, CA (2009).

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